Bird Nest Cupcakes
How to Make Bird Nest Cakes
Simple and yummy recipes teaching you how to make bird nest cupcakes - perfect for Easter! Find a step-by-step tutorial on making these cute treats along with alternative recipes, ideas and more.
Learn to make them with buttercream or flakes, and mini versions as well as full size. These would make a wonderful homemade gift or go down a treat at an Easter party!
Read on to find out how to make them - they are easier than you might think!
Photo Credit: Bird Nest Cupcakes - copyright of the author
This is by far my most favourite chocolate cupcake recipe ever! The cupcakes themselves are moist and soft, while the buttercream boasts both beautiful texture and taste, without being too sickly.
Total Time: 70-80 minutes
Serves: Makes 12 cupcakes
- TO MAKE THE CUPCAKES:
- 7 oz plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 5 oz unsalted softened butter
- 7 oz granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 oz cocoa powder
- 240 ml boiling water
- TO MAKE THE NEST TOPPING:
- 3 oz plain/dark chocolate
- 10 oz icing sugar
- 1.5 tsp cocoa powder
- 12 oz unsalted softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 120 ml double cream
- 36 or more chocolate mini eggs to decorate (allowing at least 3 per cupcake)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4
- Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cupcake cases
- Add the boiling water to the cocoa powder in a bowl and blend until it is smooth and chocolatey. Leave it to cool to room temperature while you mix the rest of the ingredients
- Sift together the flour and baking powder in another bowl and set aside. In a third bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and soft. I use a handheld mixer with beaters to get the best consistency
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar, give it a good stir, then add in the sifted flour and baking powder. Stir again until the mixture is smooth, before adding in the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat again with the mixer
- Spoon the mixture evenly between cases. Depending on the size of your cases, you may have some extra left over - if you have a smaller holed muffin tin and mini cases, you can use the mixture up and make mini cupcakes like the ones I have demonstrated further down the page. Or just make extra full sized ones!
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes are springy when you touch the tops. Cool them on a wire rack
- Now, to make the buttercream nests, break up the chocolate into a bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water until completely melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
- While waiting for the chocolate to cool, sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a large bowl, add the butter, and beat with a mixer until well blended together
- Whisk in the melted chocolate, cream and vanilla extract, then beat again for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture turns creamy and smooth, and it starts turning a lighter colour
- Allow it to cool a little, before spooning the icing into a piping bag. You will need to use a star-shaped nozzle to create the bird nest effect
- Pipe the icing onto the cakes to create the look of a bird's nest
- Place 3 or more mini eggs in the centre of each nest - more if you are using very small eggs
- Serve and enjoy!!
Here for Cupcakes?
Are you going to be making bird nest cupcakes?
Make a Cute Easter Treat!
These super cute cupcakes are a delight to bake for Easter (or simply for spring!) - they make a yummy alternative to chocolate eggs and look great at a party. Why not bake a batch and give them to friends and family as homemade Easter gifts?
For gifts, you could present them in an Easter gift box or Easter basket. For a party, display them with an Easter theme! I put my recent batch on a pretty tiered stand and decorated it with some cute little Easter chicks. I put some artificial flowers behind them to give a spring feel as well.
You could present yours on an Easter-themed stand, in an egg-shaped bowl, or even in a homemade nest! Why not glean some inspiration from these bird nest themed articles; Decorating with Birds Nests or Birds Nest Crafts? You can get nests intended for party or wedding favors which would be perfect for popping a few cupcakes in, and would work really well with the mini cupcakes recipe, too!
Another super cute way to add extra Easter décor to your cakes is to place a sweet little birdie cupcake pick in each one, or nestle a little fluffy chick or bird on top of the mini eggs!
12 Bird Cupcake Topper Rings
Wilton Borders Cupcake Stand
12 Natural Twig Birds Nests
Mini Bird Nest Cupcakes - A Variation on the Main Recipe (and great for leftover batter and buttercream, too!)
Photo Credit: Mini Bird Nest Cupcakes - image copyright of the author
As I mentioned in the main recipe above, you can also make mini versions of the the cupcakes. Just use mini cases and a 12 hole mini cake pan. You can either make these as a separate project (in which case, the above recipe for 12 standard cupcakes will make 24 or more mini cakes) or use any leftover batter and icing to make these as extras.
When you come to ice these tiny versions, pipe the icing around each cake once, so it fills the entirety of the cake top. Then nestle one little mini egg in the centre. Yum yum!
These are great for little ones or those with smaller appetites, or for when you fancy a treat but can't manage a whole one!
Video Tutorials for Bird Nest Cupcakes
Quick and Easy Bird Nest Cupcakes - Simply But Yummy!
If you want a less rich chocolate combination, or just a quicker, easier recipe to rustle up, this is the one for you!
This recipe is less complex than the first, as the mix can be made quickly all in one bowl, as can the buttercream. It is, however, another very yummy recipe, so perfect for serving up to guests or as gifts, without having to spend ages making them!
Total Time: 35-45 minutes
Serves: Makes 12
- TO MAKE THE CUPCAKES:
- 4.5 oz caster sugar (super fine sugar in the US)
- 4.5 oz unsalted
- softened butter
- 3.5 oz self-raising flour
- 3 level tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 tbsp milk
- TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM NESTS:
- 12.5 oz icing sugar
- 6 oz unsalted
- softened butter
- 4 level tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp boiling water
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 190C
- Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cupcake cases
- Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and beat with a mixer until soft and fluffy
- Add the eggs and milk, sift in the flour and cocoa, and beat again until the mixture is smooth
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are springy to touch. Cool on a wire rack
- To make the buttercream nests, beat the butter to soften it further, or melt it a little in the oven (which will still be warm from the cupcake baking)
- In a separate bowl, add the boiling water to the cocoa powder and mix until it forms a paste, before adding to the butter
- Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract, beat until very smooth, and spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle, as with the previous recipe
- Pipe the icing around the cakes to create the look of bird nests
- Place 3-5 mini eggs in the centre of each cupcake, serve and enjoy!
Bird Nest Cupcakes with Flake Nests
An Alternative to Buttercream
My 3-year-old daughter LOVES baking cupcakes with me, and eating them too, but she doesn't like buttercream. So, if you want to make a cool nest cupcake with a topping alternative, what to do?
My little girl likes glace icing but that is no good here, so we opted for crumbly chocolate flakes to create the nests instead!
Because I made a batch of these at the same time as the other ones, I used a little of the leftover buttercream as a "glue" for the flakes. Using the back of a spoon, I smoothed a little over the top of each cake. If you're making these on their own, you could whip up a little bit of glace icing with some icing sugar and boiling water - it will work the same! Let it cool a little if you use this method, so that it's not runny, but pop the flakes on before it sets.
Carefully cut up pieces of chocolate flake with a sharp knife, and place them on top of the cupcake to form a nest. When happy with the designs, place 3-5 mini eggs in the centre of the nest and voila!
Which is your Favourite Recipe?
Which of these recipes was your favourite?
This was the book I immediately turned to when seeking inspiration for my first batch of these particular cupcakes. The recipes (and photography) in this book are to die for!!
- Easter Bird Nest Cupcakes
These are a cute variation - buttercream on first, then a central sprinkling of chocolate sprinkles or shavings to make the nests, with eggs in the middle!
- Pale Blue Egg Nest Cupcakes
These look very stylish, topped with slices of chocolate finger biscuits to make the nests, and placing a single pale blue egg in the centre.
- Martha Stewart Nesting Baby Bluebirds
These are amazing! These yummy vanilla cupcakes are topped with chocolate buttercream, then the remaining topping is tinted to pipe three little baby bluebird heads, before forming nests around them with shredded coconut!
- Greek Bird Nests
These look amazing, sound delicious and I will definitely be trying these! It combines an adapted honey almond cake recipe with a honey syrup recipe to make the topping and nests.
- Mini Bird Nests
These mini cakes are just adorable - tiny little nests small enough to fit inside an egg carton - just check out the super cute photos if nothing else!
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